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Bike-Portable Workbench 


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Bike-Portable Workbench 

Written By: Bertoa 


It's easy to put the toolbox and workmate in the trunk of my car and drive to the next job, but 
there has to be a more environmentally friendly solution if I am working near my house. 
Today, I will show you a DIY mobile toolbox and workbench that folds up to fit on the rear 
rack of a bike! It is able to transport all the tools needed for light repairs. The toolbox top 
folds out with the help of a piano hinge and a few brackets. The workbench can be removed 
from the bike rack and is able to stand on its own stowable legs made from aluminium tube. 
This portable workspace weighs only 10kg (20lbs), but it's able to support my full body 
weight. It's a wonderful addition to any Maker's bicycle and a great solution to work on 
projects in the field. 

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Bike-Portable Workbench 

Step 1 — Bike-Portable Workbench 

• Drawing with sizes To make things easy, I made some drawings. First you have to cut all 
the wooden parts according to the diagrams. I was using 4x2 foot, 1.5 cm (0.6 inch) thick 
plywood and two 4x2 foot 0.5cm (0.2 inch) triplex board. For the frame you need two laths 
of 210cm (82.6 inches) length. 

Step 2 

• The workbench top is pinewood 1.8cm (0.7 inch) thick. I started with a piece 40cm x 
100cm (15.7 inches x 40 inches) and cut this into two halves. The piano hinge joined the 
50cm edges so that the finished (open) size was 50cm x 80cm. The other materials are 
aluminium tubes and aluminium strip; see the drawing. 

• Next you have to make the 2 toolboxes. Photo 2 shows the frame and photo 3 the boxes 
with rear and bottom pieces installed. All parts have to be cut precisely. After that it needs 
planing and sanding. 

© Make Projects 

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Bike-Portable Workbench 

Step 3 

• After the 2 boxes, the four drawers can be made. Bottom and side parts are 15mm (0.6 
inch) thick plywood. They are screwed together. Front and back parts are 0.5cm (0.2 inch) 
triplex board. Small nails connect these parts to the bottom and the side. Always apply 
construction glue before connecting the parts. 

Step 4 

• The drawers have to slide easily into and out of the box. To make that happen I made side 
and bottom slats from wood. You can also use modern drawer slides. I like simple 
solutions. The top drawers are actualy two tilt trays. This is better for carrying heavy tools. 
Block the tilt tray with a screw so it does not fall out of the box. 

• In the bottom drawer you can install wooden strips as dividers. The handle of the drawer is 
a 3cm (1.2 inch) hole but external handles are also good. 

• Now the legs, 50cm (20 inches) long and 2cm (0.8 inch) diameter, are made. Put plastic 
leg caps of 1 .9cm (0.74 inch) on the bottom ends. 

© Make Projects 

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Bike-Portable Workbench 

Step 5 

• Time to make the leg holders of aluminium (or steel) tube. The tube is 10cm (4 inches) 
long and 2.5cm (1 inch) in diameter. The screw hole in the tube has to be 1cm (0.4 inch) 
from the top. 

• To connect the tube to the box a saddle from aluminium strip has to be made on the vise. 
This keeps the leg holder in place and is made with the lifting blocks in mind. (See photo 
3.) To make the workbench stable to the floor the legs have to be directed outwards. How 
far will depend on the lifting block beneath the pipe. 

• The position of the screw on top of the leg holder is 6.3 cm (2.5 inches) from the front or 
rear and 9.3cm (3.6 inches) from the bottom. 

Step 6 

• The wood for the benchtop has to be cut in two equal pieces. Planing and sanding is a 
must to make it fit. Now attach the piano hinge to the long side. In the video you can see 
how to attach the cabinets to the benchtop. Bear in mind that the width of the rear rack of 
your bike determines the width in between the toolboxes. 

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Bike-Portable Workbench 

Step 7 

• The first photo shows the legs stored under the bottom of the drawer. Also the 30 cm (12 
inches) foldable shelf bracket is attached to the toolbox at 5cm (2 inches) from the back 
side. At last, the spacing aluminium strip is mounted. The length is 22cm (8.6 inches). 

• Painting is a question of taste. I used 3 colors of stain. Transparent stain was used on the 
benchtop and black on the side, back and bottom of the toolbox. I painted the front of the 
toolbox red to give it a fiery and active appearance. Photo 3 shows the final result. 

Most people see their own applications for this piece of furniture. With basic woodworking tools 
and carpenter skills it's a nice project to make in a couple of days. To me it was a challenge to 
make the concept work. And... yes, it is doing what I expected, so now it's your turn! 

This document was last generated on 2012-12-15 11 :1 3:41 PM. 

© Make Projects 

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